ITC offers dimethyl fumarate testing (DMFU) in products and specialises in dimethyl fumarate in leather, footwear, product or anti-mould sachets which can be conducted within 3 days or less.
ITC has experience extracting dimethyl fumarate from leather and other materials. CPST has developed a method for detection of dimethyl fumarate and other fungicides with a reliable detection limit of less than 0.1mg/kg. CPST advises that immediate due diligence testing of products or parts of products, such as materials prone to mould growth, packaging and silica gel sachets, be carried out.
It is now illegal to have dimethyl fumarate in your products within the EU and therefore essential to have your products tested for DMFU regularly especially if the products have been in contact with silica gel type sachets.
Dimethyl Fumarate –Properties
Dimethyl fumarate has good antifungal properties, and has been associated with mould inhibitor sachets used in finished footwear and furniture. Recently, dimethyl fumarate has been highlighted as being an allergenic sensitizer causing eczema at low concentrations.
Dimethyl fumarate is a methyl ester of fumaric acid, with a chemical structure of C6H8O4. This white crystalline solid is a chemical with preservative properties that diminish over time.
Dimethyl fumarate has good antifungal properties, and as such has been used as a mould inhibitor within sachets in finished leather products. Like all living organisms, moulds need certain basic requirements to grow and multiply; a source of moisture and a source of nutrients.
In wet blue leather the source of moisture is clear. In finished product the level of moisture is much lower and therefore the growth of mould is less. However, when transporting leather between different climates, or if the product is stored in an inappropriate manner, moisture build up in certain areas, such as inside packaging, can readily lead to the growth of mould.
Many of the process chemicals used in the manufacture of leather can act as nutrients for mould growth, for example phosphates, surfactants and fat liquoring agents. Dimethyl fumarate has been found in sachets placed within the furniture structure or inside the shoe box, often labelled as ‘anti-mould agent’. Its function is as a biocide to kill any mould that may arise from storage and transportation from hot and humid climates. In these environments, the volatile dimethyl fumarate in the sachet evaporates and can impregnate the leather. However, it has also been found to severely affect some consumers when they come into contact with these products.